In all, BarberQue gave 70 haircuts and served over 300 people. Afterwards, we asked volunteers for feedback. This is some of what we heard:
Did BarberQue change any preconceptions that you had, or challenge any stereotypes?
“Yes, I still found myself not being very trusting of people, and I denied a guy shirt because I didn’t believe he really passed out flyers since 7 AM like he said. Well, turns out he did. I found him and apologized.” – Nathan, BarberQue Founder
“Yes, [BarberQue] made me realize homeless people are not always dangerous or unfriendly. They can be very friendly and sometimes just needs someone to talk to.” – Anonymous
It reaffirmed my personal beliefs regarding how critical it is for communities to come together in order to help those who are struggling the most.” – Angela, Volunteer
“Yes, it made the homeless seem more human. In society we don’t really humanize them and sympathize.” – Brenna, Volunteer
“Yes, I thought of homeless people were extremely different from me, but they are very similar in the way that most of them lived a normal life before they became homeless.” – Constandina, Volunteer
“One man told me that he lost his job, lost his wife, and lost his apartment. He applied for unemployment the first time he was denied. He told me he just recently got approved and is hoping to get his life back together. It surprised me how even though he had been through so much he had such a positive attitude. He believed that God doesn’t put you through something if he doesn’t think you can handle it.” – Rachel, Volunteer
What was the most impacting / emotional / challenging moment of your day?
“One of the little girls I was playing with kept saying how badly she wanted to go to the doctor/medical station because she had never gone to the doctors before.” – Caroline, Volunteer
“I could tell how much certain people needed the food by the way they would thoroughly thank and bless us.” Reilly, Volunteer
“I didn’t expect people to be so thankful, it was rewarding helping them.” – Blake, Volunteer
“It was hard to see kids there.” – Brooke, Conversation-Maker
“A lady was telling me her situation of being thrown out of her own home because she had a baby out of wedlock. She was kicked out at age 20. She hasn’t seen her family since. She is now, I think, in her 40s.” – Anonymous
“I was talking to this man, who told me his story, he lost his job 2months ago, which led him to lose his apartment and become homeless, he’s living in a shelter. He knows God has a bigger plan for him. He’s such a gentle man, when he was telling me his story, I told him I was gonna cry.. it was my chance to tell him to stay strong bc God is with him and will make things better, just keep your faith. He said he would. He even came back, came up to me and just started talking, said he went to the shelter and brought some others back with him.” – Susi, Volunteer
“I met a group of brothers who came through. The oldest brother brought them. I got to talk about their food insecurities with them and see how this event really helped them as we stood in a type of solidarity with them.” – Juan, Conversation-Maker
Describe homelessness in one word / phrase.
“It’s easier for me to describe what it’s not. Just because you’re homeless doesn’t mean you are worthless. I think yesterday helped a lot of people feel worthy.” Lisa Marie, Attendee
“Misfortune.” – Roberta, Volunteer
“Lonely.” – Anonymous
“Devastating.” – Riley, Volunteer
“A cry for help.” – Anonymous